Hotel tech tends to be characterized by piecemeal solutions by a myriad of tech vendors, all offering a few pieces of the puzzle. Hotel distribution tech is no different. Hoteliers end up working with many tech vendors to understand demand, set the right rates, and get their rooms on the right channels. Here we provide some clarity on key issues and the vendor landscape.
The hotel distribution landscape is complex, with hotel rooms being sold and promoted through many different channels. COVID-19 has certainly impacted how and where hotel rooms are being distributed, but it is unlikely that this disruption will be sustained long term. That's not to say that disruption isn't coming, though.
All the contactless tech that is receiving so much buzz in the hotel industry today pre-dates the current crisis. So it might not be revolutionary tech, but the impact on guest experience and engagement will certainly outlast the pandemic.
With no way of knowing how long this crisis will last or what recovery will look like, we look back at two past crises to see how the industry reacted then, and what lessons can be learned. Many, as it turns out.
The online travel industry is marginally better positioned to deal with this current outbreak than many of their suppliers in the hotel and airline industry. But the damage is only getting worse. It will still be severe and long-lasting.
There is no doubt that these are some of the toughest times for the hotel industry. Hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, the industry is on its knees. Recovery will come, but when and in what shape is wholly uncertain. Understanding the current situation, and what a recovery might look like, will help the industry to prepare for when that day comes.
Legacy PMS vendors have for too long reaped the rewards without truly pushing the boundaries of what they could offer hoteliers. Now technology has passed them by, and they are playing catch-up. Cloud computing, open APIs, marketplaces, and middleware layers are shaking up this stale corner of hotel tech, and it’s crazy exciting.
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